Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving and, with that in mind, the Valletta Foodbank is urging the public to lend it a helping hand by generating reverse advent calendars this December.
The way it works is simple – instead of eating a chocolate every day from December 1st to 24th, people are being encouraged to donate one nonperishable food item into a box and hand it over to The Foodbank on Christmas Eve. Or you can drop your reverse advent calendar off at any Quicklets branch and delivery will be organised to The Foodbank.
“Instead of receiving a gift, people will be giving a gift,” The Foodbank’s administrator Reverend Kim Hurst said. “People tend to donate quite a lot of food to us before Christmas but this then tends to decline in January, which is when demand tends to spike sue to higher electricity bills. With the reverse calendars, we plan to feed struggling families for the whole of January.”
Launched by Rev. Kim Hurst from the St Andrew’s Scots Church in 2015, The Foodbank in Old Bakery Street provides emergency food supplies to people dealing with short-term crises. After receiving a referral by care professionals, The Foodbank sends food to families in need to last them for between six to twelve weeks.
Rev. Hurst said The Foodbank is currently feeding between 60 to 80 families, every week, around 70% of whom are Maltese people. This amounts to some €2,000 worth of food every week, all of which comes from donations.
Rev. Kim Hurst at the Valletta Foodbank
Last month, Rev. Hurst warned The Foodbank is struggling to cope with the increased demand for its services and had to start turning away clients due to a lack of supplies.
“It’s only a matter of time until we will have to be stricter and either decrease the amount of food we hand out or the number of families we help,” Rev. Hurst told the Times of Malta. “We don’t want to do that or reach a situation where a family doesn’t have food to eat.”